Forward Cities is a cross-city learning collaborative that fosters inclusive innovation and entrepreneurial development in Cleveland, Detroit, Durham, and New Orleans. In the first stage of the two-year initiative, community leaders identified focus neighborhoods, or corridors, to direct and coordinate resources to increase entrepreneurship. Through Forward Cities, participants increased their focus on supporting minority entrepreneurs in underserved neighborhoods and strengthened relationships among support organizations within their cities. Forward Cities also promoted cross-city learning but was challenged with exchanges between formal convenings. Its early experiences provide lessons for efforts to motivate local action to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem for everyone.
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